A sure bet on Gore’s "Truth"
Normally I would write this commentary closer to the Academy Awards, but since my commentaries will now appear every other week, it was necessary to run this piece today.
The Sunday after next, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will assemble to honor the best in moviedom. Leonardo DiCaprio, Helen Mirren, and Abigail Breslin are my personal favorites to win the Academy Award in their respective categories. But don’t bet the ranch on those choices because I’ve never been particularly successful at picking Oscar winners.
However, this year it’s going to be different, at least in the Best Documentary category. So take this to the bank ” Al Gore will win for his movie, “An Inconvenient Truth.”
Facts are never as important in Hollywood as ideology; and when it comes to the topic of global warming, the people who accept Al Gore’s movie as gospel will find enough “facts” to support their belief systems regardless of the movie’s inexactness and speculation.
The film’s message is salient: act now in order to leave future generations a healthier planet. But science, politics and economics are so intertwined on the issue of climate change, that for every expert who says there’s a crisis, we can find another who says there isn’t.
It’s regrettable that the voices of the many scientists who actually know how little we know on the topic are drowned out by those who claim to know more than they do; and in this case, many truly knowledgeable voices will be silenced amid the adulation Hollywood’s eco-chic elite will bestow upon Al Gore in front of millions and millions of viewers.
America’s entertainment industry is a colossus that attracts untold followers worldwide. Followers who believe whatever Hollywood tells them; but in this case, what it tells them may cost all of us dearly.
Let’s be clear, the earth’s climate is changing and it is humankind’s responsibility to mitigate the matter to the extent that we reasonably can. Most of us know the U.N.’s climate panel estimates that if we reduce our greenhouse gas emissions over the coming century, we will live in a warmer, but cleaner world.
However, that same panel of scientists also suggests that if we follow the path espoused by Mr. Gore’s movie, by the year 2100 the average citizen of planet earth will be 30 percent poorer ” a detail I guarantee you won’t hear about the Sunday after next.
Perhaps a few industrialized nations could absorb that type of fiscal erosion, but what about the impact such economic regression would have upon the developing nations? On that very critical topic “An Inconvenient Truth” is noticeably silent.
The truth is that Al Gore’s movie fails to reveal all the facts. The U.N. climate panel expects world-wide sea levels to rise by a foot over the next century ” perhaps even two.
Yet “An Inconvenient Truth” predicts 20 feet of flooding in South Florida, New York, Holland, Calcutta, Shanghai and many other major metropolitan areas.
The movie’s narrator tells how global warming is currently bringing malaria to Nairobi, yet the World Health Organization considers Nairobi malaria free. The movie dramatically illustrates that 2 percent of Antarctica’s ice pack is breaking up and crashing into the sea; but at the same time it ignores that 98 percent of the continent is cooling.
In fact, the U.N. estimates that Antarctica will actually increase its snowmass this century.
But Mr. Gore and his team of expert climatologists chose not to include that detail, either.
Similarly, the movie points to shrinking sea ice in the Northern Hemisphere, but fails to mention that sea ice in the Southern Hemisphere is increasing.
It depicts an Aral Sea drying up, but fails to reveal that the former Soviet Union diverted three-fourths of its water to irrigation 30 years ago.
I could go on, but it’s the message Hollywood is enamored with, not the facts.
The Wall Street Journal opined, “Al Gore is on a mission, and if he has his way, we could end up choosing a future based on dubious claims that could cost us, according to a recent U.N. estimate, $553,000,000,000,000 over the remainder of the century.”
With mind-numbing potential remediation costs, we must be mindful that our planet has limited human, natural and financial resources ” resources that have alternative uses.
Therefore, the first step in any discussion about global warming must be to accurately ascertain the effect man has had on our climate, and then determine what can be done about it without deconstructing entire economies.
I wish the movie would have focused on the delicate balance between the need for environmental medicants and the consequences of a worldwide lowered standard of living ” but it didn’t.
On Sunday night the former vice president will accept Hollywood’s highest honor with a well-articulated speech while the credulous Academy sycophantically fetes him.
Is the former vice president’s message a good one? Yes, absolutely.
But at the same time, shouldn’t an Oscar be awarded to the documentary that best frames, interprets and then presents material that’s factual?
I haven’t seen the other nominated documentaries, so perhaps Mr. Gore’s movie is the most factual of the lot, but somehow I doubt it.
“An Inconvenient Truth”‘ represents a position that fits neatly into Hollywood’s ideology, and predictably it will win the Oscar. Place your bets.
Butch Mazzuca, a local Realtor and ski instructor, writes a semimonthly column for the Daily. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.